It’s something many swimmers wonder when they’re not actually racing, “Should I wear a Speedo?” Everyone knows the form-fitting brief is for high-performance water sports; even the Speedo swimsuits made for women are still meant for athletics first. However, the decision ultimately lies with the individual.
Reasons Not to Wear a Speedo
The reason professional swimmers love Speedos is the exact reason a recreational swimmer might shy from it: it is form-fitting and thus revealing. By leaving nothing to the imagination, it seems to invite investigation. Obviously, this is not the case when a person is engaged in high-performance swimming. It’s understood that the Speedo is necessary. However, it’s reasonable that people ask themselves, “Should I wear a Speedo when I’m just hanging out on the beach or by the pool?” It can appear pretentious rather than comfortable.
In many ways, the problem is about American attitudes towards bodies. In Europe, men of all ages and sizes wear Speedos or even thongs, and no one bats an eye. Most of these men don’t even bother with what in America would be considered requisite waxing. If people were able to conquer their insecurities about their bodies and avoid excessive judgment about the bodies of those around them, Everyone would feel much happier and healthier.
That isn’t to say that a man wants his package on display – or that anyone else wants to see it. The reality of a Speedo is that it leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, and so you – and those around you – have to feel all right about knowing some personal details.
Finally, while many men prefer the close fit and support of the Speedo, others find it too restrictive and uncomfortable.
Why Should I Wear a Speedo?
If you’re on holiday in the Mediterranean or South America, Speedos are actually considered more appropriate beach wear, and choosing trunks is deemed tacky.
Even if you’re not in proverbial Rome, there are several reasons why you may prefer a Speedo to board shorts. First, they really are sporty. If you’re swimming for exercise, you will get better performance.
In many ways, Speedos can be more comfortable. Besides not dragging you down when wet, they also don’t bunch up or rub between your thighs when walking.
They can also be more practical – a Speedo will dry considerably faster than most trunks.
Tanning is much less common than it used to be – in fact, most people are more concerned about keeping our skin protected when at the beach. If you do want to achieve some color, a Speedo allows you to get a much nicer overall tan than anything else, unless of course you are at a nude beach.
The Legs Have It
If you’re wondering “Should I wear a Speedo” and dismissing the idea because you haven’t got Michael Phelps’ body, you might think again. Longer shorts make your legs look shorter, and this is unflattering. Even men who have long legs and tight abs can look less flattered in baggy board shorts. Of course, long legs and tight abs do deserve to be shown off.
Obviously, no matter what your body type, that concern about being so very much on display is still a factor. The bottom line is that if it feels inappropriate, wear something else. You should be aware that some people might be offended by your choice no matter what, but get a sense of the venue and judge accordingly.
Bear in mind that if you choose a Speedo in a darker color, your package will be less obvious. And if you swim regularly, eyes will have a lot more to look at anyway!
By SJ Stratford